In The Giver, what do you think happened to the girl who was chosen ten years ago?

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In chapter 18, Jonas asks the Giver for more specifics about what happened to the girl who failed as the Receiver-in-Training ten years earlier. Jonas first asks what she was like and the Giver says that she was "self-possessed and serene. Intelligent, eager to learn" (140). Jonas then asks for her name and the Giver tells him that it was "Rosemary." Because the Giver seems apprehensive to tell the whole story, Jonas urges him to tell him everything that happened.

The Giver finally explains that it only took five weeks to fail with Rosemary because he gave her too many emotionally and psychologically painful memories early on in her training. Apparently, she was enthusiastic about learning quickly so he gave her memories that she wanted, but she wasn't ready for them emotionally or psychologically. He didn't give her war or even pain, but he gave her loneliness and loss. In addition, he gave her a memory of parents losing a child, but then followed up with memories of anguish, poverty, hunger, and fear. He also tried to finish sessions with happy memories, but those weren't enough to heal the pain she had already felt.

As a result of these emotionally-charged memories, Rosemary got up after a memory session on day, seemed to make a decision, and rather than going home, she went to the elders and asked for release. The elders gave it to her without understanding the consequences of such a decision and once she died, the memories fell back onto the citizens of the community and there was chaos. Needless to say, the rules for Jonas's training indicate that he cannot ask for release.

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The Giver

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